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Grand Circus

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Schedule

Friday

Nov 14
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday

Nov 15
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday

Nov 16
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Speakers

Natalia Petraszczuk

Co-Founder, VisionBoards.co

Natalia Petraszczuk is the co-founder of VisionBoards.co.

Visionboards.co was started by two women entrepreneurs, Natalia Petraszczuk and Stephanie Dionne, who created the company and its initial technology in just 54 hours at the 2013 Detroit Startup Weekend. Their success earned them a 1st place finish and qualified them for entry to the Global Startup Battle, sponsored by Google and UP Global. After a public vote that earned them top-ten finishes in every competition category, VisionBoards.co was selected by a panel of judges as the winner of the Innovation Circle, beating out 2,300 teams from over 200 cities worldwide.

In February 2014 the company was featured at San Francisco’s LAUNCH Festival which helped them to capture nearly 1,500 pre-registered beta users in just over a week. The concept has drawn interest from major investors, including but not limited to Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, and has also been featured in major media outlets including Crain’s Detroit, StartupNation Radio, Trendhunter, and Michipreneur.

David Binkowski

President & CEO, Large Media

David Binkowski is a Detroit native and the President & CEO at Large Media, a thriving, Catskills-based agency that has shattered records for crowdfunding campaigns for notable startups including Tile, Coin, Moov, Ringly, Navdy and Vessyl. His no-nonsense style and brand marketing experience delivers practical, honest, easily digestible advice and information that can be put to use immediately without the marketing hype.

Judges

Brad Hoos

Co-Founder, Grand Circus

Bradley Hoos is the co-Founder of Grand Circus, an inspired learning institute for both startups and corporations alike. In addition to delivering programming focused on learning, Grand Circus operates a co-working facility and event space that is home to the Detroit tech and entrepreneurial community. Recently, Google selected Grand Circus as one of its seven tech hub partners in North America.

Brad has been involved in starting a number of businesses - both inside the structure of existing organizations and "in the wild". Brad's experience as an engineer allows him to understand and apply technology in the start-up world. His passion is creating new ways to make a meaningful difference in people's everyday lives. In addition to working with countless start-ups, he has worked with leading technology organizations globally including Accenture, Red Hat, Caterpillar, and USAA. Brad holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS and MS in Engineering from Michigan State University and the University of Iowa.

Paul Czarnik

Co-Founder and Managing Director, MadDog Technology

Paul Czarnik is the co-founder and managing director of MadDog Technology and former Chief Technology Officer at Compuware. A Venture Technologist looking for disruptive entrepreneurs and programmers who have great ideas and the motivation to see them to business success, Paul loves technology due-diligence and helps entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs scale their enterprises. He is currently focusing on big-data analytics, mobility, tablets, cloud, and augmented reality. He has founded two startups and is always looking for ways to create disruptive technology. Because of his background in medical software, he is especially interested in applications that will reduce cost, improve caregiver productivity, and empower patients. Paul is also a former Startup Weekend attendee and coach.

Jonathon Triest

Founder and Managing Partner, Ludlow Ventures

Prior to launching Ludlow, Jonathon worked as Creative Director for New York’s Discovery Productions. He founded and operated Triest Group, a design firm with a deep UI/UX focus. In addition to his role at Ludlow, Jonathon is a mentor at numerous technology accelerators including Silicon Valley’s Up West Labs, Cincinnati’s The Brandery, and San Francisco’s Highway 1. He is a board member of the Trico Foundation and Venture for America.

Tim Davis

Director of iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Tim Davis is the Director of iLabs, the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Center for Innovation Research, and a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the College of Business. He creates research and engagement connections for UM-Dearborn students and faculty with entrepreneurs and economic development organizations across Michigan. Through those connections, Tim has established opportunities for students to showcase their entrepreneurial skills and make a difference in their community.

Angel Gambino

CEO, Alchemists Collective

Angel Gambino is a WIRED Top 100 executive and serial entrepreneur with 20 years experience working with innovative media, tech and retail businesses offering extraordinary consumer experiences. She is a problem solver with a unique blend of general management skills having demonstrated particular success transforming and accelerating growth of businesses by creating and identifying the right marketing, distribution and monetization models and partnerships. She is an intuitive strategist, natural networker and tenacious business developer who instinctively delivers results with impact.

Recently, Angel held the position of Global VP, Music & Content at social media giant Bebo, where she was responsible for accelerating the growth and enhancing the popularity of bebo by creating and executing bebo's music strategy, product and partnerships. Her focus on building the valuation of the company through entertainment content helped ensure AOL's acquisition of the company for $850m.

Previously she was VP, Commercial, Strategy & Digital Media for MTV Networks where she oversaw MTVN’s strategy & P&L across MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Paramount and Comedy brands where she launched the first IPTV, VOD, mobile and social channels.

Prior to MTVN, Angel was Controller, Business Development & Emerging Platforms at the BBC where she lead the company's expansion into mobile, broadband and on-demand platforms including creation, development and launch of the iPlayer.

Angel was a founding Director of Broadband at gameplay where she lead business development and has consulted to a number of Fortune 500 companies in the area of online commerce.

Earlier in her career she served as Director of Legal and Business Affairs for several NGOs protecting wildlife and their habitat.

Coaches

Paul Chambers

CEO and Founder, Core3 Solutions

An entrepreneur since fifth grade, Paul Chambers is the CEO and Founder of Core3 Solutions, a digital marketing agency and managed IT solutions provider in Southeastern Michigan. In addition to his daily duties at Core3, Paul is involved in a number of start-up's and early growth stage companies that range from online proposal software to mobile auto dealership marketing and even healthcare consulting and advocacy. Paul has been recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as a 20 In Their 20’s. In his spare time Paul loves to spend time with his wife, four year-old twin daughters and infant son.

Jordan Skole

Director of Marketing, Ambassador

As the 'Minister of Marketing' at Ambassador, Jordan is in charge of all digital marketing channels for a leading software company in the referral marketing space.

Jason Raznick

CEO, Benzinga and Marketfy.com

Jason is a passionate entrepreneur and the founder of Benzinga, a financial media company based out of Metro Detroit. He founded two successful Internet companies prior to Benzinga. In the first five months, Benzinga grew to over 50k active members. Benzinga currently serves over 3 million readers in over 125 countries each month. Jason has been quoted throughout the media in places such as CNBC, Fox Business, NPR and Wall Street Journal.

Adam Bratt

Head Developer, Benzinga and Marketfy.com

Adam is the Head Developer for Marketfy.com, the first ever curated & verified Marketplace for everything trading. Marketfy.com currently supports more than 30,000 members. Previously, Adam founded and grew web studio to 100+ clients in 3 years. With his work, he has created a network of viral image sites with over 150 million page views to date.

Kyle Bazzy

President, Benzinga/Marketfy.com

Kyle Bazzy is the President of Benzinga and Marketfy. He joined Benzinga in 2011, and led the creation of Marketfy in 2012. He was previously an executive at a Michigan-based private equity firm.

A leading voice in the financial media industry, Kyle often appears on international television.

Ken Wohl

Head of Growth/User Acquisition at Benzinga.com and Marketfy.com

Ken Wohl heads up growth and user acquisition for Benzinga.com/Marketfy.com. Prior to working at Benzinga, Ken co-founded Smore Marketing Group which provided growth marketing to top 1,000 media sites. He's been involved in web startups since college where he co-founded his first company, Leftos.com, which was later acquired. He's a strong supporter of everything Detroit and follows the Detroit Tigers closer than Mike Illitch.

Sandy Barris

CEO & President of Business Marketing Services

Sandy Barris, CEO & President of Business Marketing Services, a local Detroit direct response marketing company. Sandy is also the CEO & Chief Accelerant at Call On Fire LLC the creator of the iPhone app Sales Goals On Fire Pro. He is the author of Sell More of Your Products, Services and Ideas, plus has written over 97 articles, reports and guides. He's been married more than 34 years (to the same woman), has 4 kids and 2 grandkids. Hobbies include cooking, home brewing and reading over 75 books a year. Sandy holds a BS in Business Management from Lawrence Technological Institute and a Masters from the University of Hard Knocks.

Scott Kloustin

Co-Founder of RoboTelecop

Scott Kloustin is the co-founder of RoboTelecop and also helps clients with various marketing and web development projects. He spends his days at Bamboo Detroit co-working space where he works on his startup and helps Bamboo members with their technology needs.

RoboTeleCop was started at Detroit Startup Weekend in 2013. Team RoboTeleCop was voted "People's Choice" by their peers at Startup Weekend. RoboTeleCop has expanded into working with credit lawyers to help protect consumers from creditor phone calls. Scott has appeared on several startup-related panels, including discussing the local Detroit startup community and investment crowdfunding developments. Scott is a graduate of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Tifani Sadek

Founder, Sadek Legal Services

Tifani is the founder of Sadek Legal Services, a Detroit-based business law firm that focuses on startups and entrepreneurs. She launched her own practice after spending several years in large corporate law firms in her hometown of Houston, Chicago, and Detroit. Tifani mentors new businesses through many programs, including Ann Arbor SPARK and D:Hive's BUILD and absolutely loves her job. When she's not working, she's watching college football, exploring Detroit, or playing board games with her husband in their Woodbridge home.

Organizers
Brandon Chesnutt
Heather Macdonald
Nicole Mangis
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